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If you have a bad credit score, it may take you a while to find an option with a reliable lender, transparent fees and rates, and flexible terms and conditions. However, it’s still possible, so get started from learning how to avoid unreasonably high rates, spot scams, and change your bad financial habits.
Popular Options for a Bad Credit Loan
You can apply for unsecured loans even with a bad credit score. It makes sense to search for a company or institution that funds each loan directly. Usually, this means that you can get your loan quickly. Sometimes it takes a couple of hours for a manager to make a positive decision. However, you should check whether the loan origination fees apply or not.
The key benefits of the aforementioned option are the following:
• Annual percentage rates are relatively low.
• Loans are funded almost immediately.
• A borrowing limit can be as high as tens of thousands of dollars.
• A repayment period usually varies from twelve months to four years.
• There are many reliable providers in each state.
If you want to get a secured personal loan, you may also consider a few good providers who work with individuals with a low credit score. It makes sense to check a peer-to-peer lender option too. You should be aware that such lenders often require more time to make a final decision. Sometimes it takes up to two weeks for a personal loan to be funded. However, they often offer lower interest rates, as compared to unsecured loan providers.
How to Avoid Scam
The ability to spot scam loan providers is a good financial habit to develop. You need to pay close attention to the red flags, such as:
• no guarantees
• upfront payments
• pushy emails, forms, and calls for personal data
• scare tactics
• fishy-sounding company name
Good Financial Habits: Fixing Your Credit Score
If you lack a dozen points to qualify for a personal loan with great terms and conditions, it’s reasonable to fix your credit rating. The result is worth your effort, so get started as soon as you can. Follow these simple tips to achieve a higher credit score:
• Get the latest credit report.
Many people don’t know their credit ratings, so they don’t know what options they could qualify for. Your credit score may be higher than you think. Therefore, you may seek better options.
• Make your payments on time.
The more you spend wisely, the better credit score you get. If you often forget about your monthly payments, set up an automatic payment in your online bank account. The truth is that making small payments frequently helps you gain trust from the lenders.
• Aim for no more than 30 % credit utilization ratio.
No matter, if you can pay off your credit on time or not, try not to exceed a 30 % ratio between your outstanding balance and your total credit amount. Some finance experts advise their clients to aim for 10 % or even less because this positively affects the credit score.
Deciding where to get a lacking amount of money for a necessary purchase is a common issue. In fact, you have to consider whether to use a credit card or to get a personal loan. In order to make an informed choice that corresponds to your needs, analyze your situation and the available options.
Although plastic is an unsecured loan with double-digit interest rates, it’s widely used because of the following benefits:
• It’s designed for short-term financing, perfect to cover monthly expenses as well as monthly bills. However, you can separate your debt and make small payments over time.
• You can use a 0 % rate option for short-term financing if you pay off your debt before an agreed term.
• You will get bonuses, such as travel or cash rewards, which are typically 1-2 % of what you have spent.
• The more you spend and repay each month, the larger credit sum and lower interest rates you can count on.
• You have a credit limit that you can use as often as you need but you cannot usually exceed it.
• If you need to make a purchase that you would be able to pay off in 30 days, using plastic is equivalent to doing so with cash.
A credit card has an expiry date and an “end date” when you need to finalize all the payments. This type of a loan is dangerous because banks usually charge more if you borrow more money getting close to your credit card limit.
Many plastic users face the situation when they fail to make a minimum monthly payment so that their interest rates dramatically increase. You should also keep in mind that interest is often calculated based on the average daily balance during a current month, so your ending balance is not considered.
When you are planning to spend a large sum of money, check longer-term financing options, such as personal loans. This is an unsecured or secured loan suitable for any purposes: you may buy a car, consolidate your debt, pay for a family vacation, etc. It works a bit differently as compared to a credit card:
• You receive the money in a lump sum.
• Monthly payments are fixed for the agreed period, usually a number of months.
• An interest rate is usually fixed.
• A typical loan period is from two to five years.
• You can pay off the principal and interest early without additional expenses.
If you have a good credit record, you will get lower interest rates applying for a personal loan than using plastic. Another good thing about a personal loan is that you cannot borrow more until you liquidate your debt. The loophole here is that you may apply for another personal loan with different conditions.
Heart of the Matter
Generally speaking, credit cards and personal loans are different types of debt. The plastic is optimal when you want to borrow money for a short term while personal loans are more suitable for individuals who need bigger amounts and want to pay off a debt for a longer period. Therefore, when choosing an appropriate financing option, you need to consider what do you need the money for and for how long you would like to pay off the debt.